VIMS Location-Shoot Guidelines

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) may grant permission for a production company to film or photograph VIMS facilities for commercial purposes under certain conditions as outlined below.

The project must be consistent with VIMS’ mission and educational goals, may not hinder operations, and may not detract from VIMS’ research activities.

Please note that a prerequisite for all projects is completion and execution by an authorized representative of the production company of VIMS’ Location Shoot Agreement, of which these Guidelines are an integral part. Please also note that VIMS reserves the absolute right to grant or deny permission to shoot and to determine the terms under which shooting will be permitted.

  1. Advance Notice: At least 2 weeks advance notice is requested whenever possible. While VIMS will make every effort to accommodate last-minute requests, requests with less than 24-hour notice cannot be accommodated under any circumstances.
  2. Site Requirements: Whenever possible, a site tour and review of on-site requirements will be scheduled in advance of the shoot. If this is not possible, VIMS staff must review the production company’s requirements. The size of crew, number of talent, and amount of equipment must be agreed on prior to the shoot date.
  3. Use of Film and Photographs: The production company may use film and photographs shot at VIMS only for the purpose stated in the Location Agreement. The grant of rights in one medium does not convey rights to use any other media, unless so indicated. The company may sell its final product for broadcast by others but may not sell individual images shot at VIMS or provided by VIMS separate from its product. In addition, the company may not use images taken at or provided by VIMS in connection with productions that do not directly involve VIMS, without its prior written consent. Under no circumstances may the production company use film and photographs shot at VIMS in a manner inconsistent with VIMS' mission and image or in a defamatory, untrue, or censorable nature, and the company shall cease any such use on demand by VIMS. The company shall ensure that its licensees and assignees fully comply with the provisions of this paragraph.
  4. Trademarks: The name “Virginia Institute of Marine Science,” acronym “VIMS,” and its logo are trademarks owned by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Permission is granted to use these trademarks in the company’s final product without alteration. Written permission must be obtained from VIMS in writing to use any of these trademarks in promotional or other materials related to the final product.
  5. Script Review: VIMS reserves the right to approve or deny use of its name or image in any context and to review the scripts for all scenes involving VIMS for factual accuracy.
  6. VIMS' Ownership: All film and photographs shot by VIMS cameras on VIMS property shall belong to VIMS. Any requests for VIMS vessels and vehicles footage must be arranged with the [[davem,VIMS News & Media Services director]]. VIMS will negotiate for this additional footage use in writing through a separate license agreement.
  7. Company’s Ownership: Except as otherwise agreed in writing, all film and photographs shot by the production company shall belong to it.
  8. Credits: The production company will acknowledge the Virginia Institute of Marine Science should it use any film or photographs shot at VIMS.
  9. Insurance: As part of this Agreement, the Company shall provide a fully endorsed certificate of insurance with VIMS named as an additional insured party that insures VIMS and its officers, employees and agents for the following minimum coverage: $1,000,000 for general liability and property damage. Provision of the certificates of insurance and policy endorsement shall be a condition precedent to the Company's license to use or enter the Property. The Company shall also provide a copy of the Company's certificate of insurance for Worker's Compensation.
  10. Location Fees: Location fees may be charged. Fees vary according to such factors as whether the project is commercial or non-profit in origin, the intended market, the potential promotional value to VIMS, the extent to which rights are shared with VIMS, and special requirements by the production company.
  11. Scheduling: VIMS shall not be responsible for cancellation or delay of a shoot because of weather, mechanical difficulties or any other reason and will not be liable for any costs incurred by the production company in connection with any cancellation or delay, such as wages of the film crew, equipment rental and the like. VIMS shall endeavor to reschedule a canceled shoot, subject to the availability of its facilities and vessels. Because VIMS is first and foremost a research and educational institute, the requirements of its scientists and students will always take priority, and VIMS cannot guarantee that another time convenient to the production company will be available.
  12. Safety Guidelines: During filming at VIMS facilities, the production company’s film crew will follow strict safety guidelines as established by VIMS’ safety director.
  13. Underwater Filming: Due to safety concerns for the unique dangers posed by at-sea operations of tethered remotely operated vehicles, VIMS does not allow divers in the water with its vehicles for underwater filming.
  14. VIMS Prerogatives: The production company agrees to make any changes to its filming or to discontinue filming if VIMS determines that the filming is disrupting its operations or that the potential for damage to people or to VIMS’ facilities exists.
  15. Final Copies: One copy of the final production will be supplied to VIMS without charge for its historical archives and internal educational purposes.
  16. Miscellaneous Policies: No smoking or alcohol consumption is allowed anywhere inside VIMS facilities.
  17. Location Filming Information: The production company may obtain information on permits or on location filming elsewhere in Gloucester County by calling the Virginia Film Office at (804) 545-5530 or at